I am a DPhil candidate in Politics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford on the job market in 2019/20. I am part of the Department of Politics and International Relations and a graduate scholar at the Oxford Q-Step Centre.
Prior to starting the DPhil, I earned a distinction MPhil Politics (Comparative Government) from Nuffield College and a distinction BA Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Essex.
In my DPhil, I study the political economy of risk and insurance in quasi-experimental settings. More broadly, my interests include comparative politics, quantitative methods and causal inference.
My paper-based dissertation explores the causes and consequences of inequality, specifically the ways in which individuals’ risk profiles influence their insurance demand, support for the welfare state and left-wing parties. For these studies, I use historical administrative data, long-run individual panel data and newly collected and assembled electoral data from the United States and Europe. Check out my data page for more information, codebooks and data download.
A related research agenda explores, from a “top-down” perspective, the effects of institutional settings on inequality and subsequent policy outputs. I also study what heuristics individuals use, in low-information settings, to select candidates into public office.
My research is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Nuffield College.
I can be contacted at raluca.pahontu[at]nuffield.ox.ac.uk or on Twitter.